Child care workers are those set of professionals who care for young children of pre-school age. They come into picture when parents of these children are away at work and need someone to take care of their young ones. In addition to caring during parent’s absence, they prepare the children for formal schooling. Thus, child care workers are involved in the physical, mental and emotional welfare of a child entrusted to them by the parents.
Based on their place of work child care workers can be grouped in to three types.
Often called as baby sitters, this group of workers provides their services on hourly basis. They perform all tasks that a mother would do for her child and in addition may double up as a house keeper to do the dishes and laundry. But primarily, they work on the child and involve the child in various preparatory activities.
These workers come to the employer’s place of residence to offer their services. The advantage of this system is that the child in the safety of his home thus giving them a feeling of security.
Some child care providers work from their own residence. Their homes are modified to suit the profession. A family child care provider works with a limited group of children usually alone and sometimes with an external helper.
These workers take care of the individual needs of each child and also indulge them in group activities. They have fixed timings when the parents drop the child before they leave for work and pick up by end of the day. This way the child feels at home and also gets to interact with other children.
Day care centers are places which take care of children in the age groups ranging from 0 to 12 years. They have many child care workers working for them depending on the number of children enrolled and the child to care giver ratio that the centre wants to maintain.
In these centers, there are different workers performing different roles. There are teachers who only work with the child for teaching and development purposes but there are care-givers as well who take of other necessities such as hygiene and nutrition of children. The advantages of a day care are that they are open all round the year and offer you round the clock service.
Whatever the type of care giver you wish to choose, make sure that you conduct adequate background checks of the worker or the centre before entrusting your child into their hands. Look for licenses and certificates as the first step to scrutiny.